Persuade Me… a novel.
I don’t like reviewing books particularly. As an author, I’m scared witless as the reviews come out and worry that there is always going to be that one that throws my hopes and dreams into disarray. The reality is that a writer is never going to please everyone. So I prefer to leave it to professional bookbloggers and reviewers to write the critiques for all those books we heap upon the reading public.
Mesmered has never been a book review blog and so it was with some trepidation that I agreed to review a novel from a fellow-writer from my #A4T time. Juliet Archer is well known amongst lovers of Jane Austen for her contemporary take on the work of the inimitable JA.
The copy duly arrived in the mail and I began to read.
I set out with the idea of keeping Austen’s Persuasion, to which this novel is linked, as far from my consciousness as possible. I wanted to read it as if I were someone who had never read JA, who had no idea of the superb convolutions of that book, who quite simply was reading a modern romantic comedy.
The thing with Persuade Me is that whilst Anna’s family and acquaintances are, in some cases, a witty pastiche, I didn’t find the story itself to be a comedy. It was simply a love-story. And all the better for that. We are so short of ‘old-fashioned’ boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy finally gets back together with girl stories. Persuade Me is a novel that creeps under the cynical radar of twenty-first century literature. Chick lit often bastardises the idea of love for love’s sake, overloaded with sexual idiom and crude behaviour on the part of the protagonists. To all those who write chick lit and love chick lit, I admit I am making a big generalisation here. There are many that are not so tacky and which can be thoroughly enjoyable. But Persuade Me shows that love for love’s sake is a commendable emotion, even in this high paced, digitalised life, everything-exposed-type-life we all lead.
A recommended read for anyone who wants a happy ending.
Persuade Me by Juliet Archer
A delicious updating of Jane Austen’s Persuasion
Juliet Archer is a 19th-century mind living in a 21st-century body. Actually, some days it’s the other way round!
She’s writing ‘Darcy & Friends’, a series modernising Austen’s six completed novels. The Importance of Being Emma, her debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2009 Melissa Nathan Award for Comedy Romance.
She lives in Hertfordshire – Pride & Prejudice country – and her books stay as true as possible to the original Austen locations and plots. She presents the hero’s point of view alongside the heroine’s, providing fresh insights into some well-known male minds!
Juliet gives regular talks for local Women’s Institutes and book signings at Waterstone’s.
She loves to hear from readers and anyone interested in writing – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Persuade Me is the second book in Juliet Archer’s ‘Darcy & Friends’ series, published by Choc Lit. Visit www.choc-lit.com and enter the Flavour of the Month competition!
UK Retail Price: £7.99 ISBN: 978-1-906931-21-6
Widely available at book shops and online. Also available as an ebook.